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Recovering as a Passenger after a Crash

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When riding as a passenger, you have no way of controlling whether you’re involved in an accident, which can be nerve-wracking. You need to trust that the driver of the car will drive responsibly, making the safety of themselves and their passengers a priority. Even if your driver is as cautious as possible, crashes can still occur. If you’ve been hurt in an auto accident while riding as a passenger in someone else’s vehicle, you may have questions about how you’ll receive compensation for your injuries. Learn more about a passenger’s right to compensation after a crash, below.

No-fault benefits for injured passengers

Passengers are just as likely to suffer serious injuries in a crash—sometimes even more likely—than a driver. Just like any victim of a car accident, passengers are entitled to compensation covering the cost of their medical care and lost wages after suffering injuries in a crash. Under New York’s car insurance system, passengers will generally file a claim for no-fault benefits against the driver responsible for their injuries. These claims must be filed within a short window of time after a crash, and a personal injury lawyer can assist in seeking these benefits from the appropriate insurance carrier. If no-fault benefits aren’t sufficient to cover the costs of a passenger’s serious injuries, then the passenger may need to file a lawsuit to obtain full compensation. Keep in mind that, even if this means the passenger would be filing a lawsuit against their friend as the at-fault driver, the most likely scenario is that the driver’s insurance company will be the party responsible for paying out a claim, not the friend themselves.

Additional ways to recover for your injuries as a passenger

If no-fault benefits are not sufficient to cover the expenses related to your car accident injuries, you may have additional ways to recover money damages after an accident. Generally, a passenger in a crash has the right to seek damages from the same responsible parties as does the driver. For example, if a manufacturing or design defect in the driver’s car caused the crash, then the passenger would have the right to file a claim for money damages against the manufacturer, designer, or seller of the vehicle. Likewise, if a drunk driver were responsible for the crash, the passenger might have a right to file a claim against the drunk driver, and against a restaurant or bar that over-served the driver prior to the accident.

If you’ve been hurt as the passenger in a New York traffic accident, get help seeking the damages you deserve for your injuries by contacting the dedicated and effective Hudson Valley personal injury lawyers at Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP for a consultation, at 845-236-4411 (Marlboro), or at 845-331-4100 (Kingston).

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Kingston Office

255 Fair Street, P.O. Box 3356
Kingston, New York 12402

Phone: 845-331-4100
Fax: 845-331-6930

Marlboro Office

1390 Route 9W, P.O. Box 727
Marlboro, NY 12542

Phone: 845-236-4411
Fax: 845-236-3190

Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP, is located in Kingston, NY and Marlboro, NY and serves clients in and around Ulster County as well as parts of Orange, Dutchess, Columbia and Greene Counties as well as many surrounding areas.

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